'Hole' in the Sun Spawns Powerful Solar Wind; Could Amp Up Auroras

Posted by K R on

A massive "hole" on the surface of the sun has unleashed a strong solar wind that scientists say may amp up the northern lights in some areas of the U.S. and could disrupt satellite communications over the next few days. Data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory revealed a vast region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up, creating a gap in the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona. This region, also known as a coronal hole, allows charged particles to escape and flow toward Earth in an increased solar wind. As a result, the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a geomagnetic storm watch for today and tomorrow (April 10 and 11). "Arriving some hours earlier than expected, a stream of fast-moving solar wind has reached Earth," according to Spaceweather.com, which regularly monitors space weather. "The gaseous material is flowing from a wide hole in the sun's atmosphere, and could engulf our planet for several days."

Read More: Space.com

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